published on 15 February 2016

In August 2015, Cisco Systems and Puppet Labs announced the availability of Cisco Open NXOS and a Puppet Enterprise agent for the Open NXOS, the operating system for Cisco Nexus devices. We also announced availability of the first set of Puppet modules for network automation. Cisco and Puppet Labs collaboration continues, and today we are excited to announce the industry’s first Puppet- orchestrated VXLAN fabric based on the MP-BGP EVPN control plane.

VXLAN has become the de facto network overlay to solve the problems with traditional L2 networks. By employing MAC-in-UDP encapsulation, VXLAN extends the L2 segments beyond 4K VLANs, removes the dependency on STP, improves bandwidth utilization with ECMP and provides L2 adjacency, to name just a few advantages. With the current VXLAN standard, we depend on flood and learn behavior to forward traffic. This flooding can present challenges in high-traffic scenarios. To alleviate the problem, we've proposed an EVPN control plane protocol based on industry-standard MP-BGP. With an MP-BGP EVPN control plane, VXLAN fabrics minimize flooding and also bring additional capabilities such as integrated routing and bridging (IRB) in both physical and virtual environments. To learn more about VXLAN and MP-BGP EVPN, please read this white paper:

http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/products/collateral/switches/nexus-9000-series-switches/white-paper-c11-733737.html

We're happy to announce the Puppet modules for provisioning and orchestrating VXLAN fabric utilizing an MP-BGP EVPN control plane. With these modules, network administrators can automate the configuration of:

  • L3 Underlay network
  • VTEPs for VXLAN bridging and routing
  • MP-BGP EVPN

By integrating VXLAN and MP-BGP EVPN types into a Puppet framework, network administrators can now use Puppet as a single point of control for orchestrating VXLAN fabrics. New types introduced in the latest 1.2 release are:

BGP VRF VNI
VXLAN VPC AAA
ACL

These new types add to the list of existing supported types:

interface package trunk
VLAN domain NTP
OSPF DNS RADIUS
SNMP port channel syslog
TACACS VTP

We hope you’re as excited about this new development as we are! We can’t wait to see how you deploy your VXLAN fabrics in harmony with your application infrastructure, using these new Puppet types. As always, please let us know what you’d like to see in future versions.

Sunil Gudurvalmiki is a product manager for Insieme marketing at Cisco Systems Inc.

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